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Oxford Attractions

Oxford, England is famous for its sights and architecture. So when you come here, you will definitely find something to see and where to go.

Oxford is a small city located northwest of the British capital. Two of the largest rivers in Foggy Albion, the Charwell and the Thames, flow and merge into one. The exact date of the founding of the city is unknown, but the first mentions of it are found as early as 972. And the first students in the city appeared 100 years later. Today the city’s population is more than 150 thousand people. Thirty thousand of them are students of local universities.

Top 12 Sightseeing in Oxford

At the first mention of the English city of Oxford, everyone associates it with the university. Yes, indeed, the city is the world capital of higher education. It is home to the world-famous Oxford University. It is considered so prestigious that wealthy people dream of sending their children there to study. But even for a rich person such a university can be unaffordable.

Oxford Castle

Oxford Castle, England

In the view of the average person, a castle – an impregnable fortress surrounded by high stone walls. But Oxford Castle is an exception. Its walls are crescent-shaped, that is, cover the main estate on three sides only. The fourth side of the castle is enclosed by a hill.

The fortification was built in the 12th century. The castle originally served as the official residence of the lords. In the second half of the 18th century the castle was turned into a prison, and executions and executions were held in its squares.

Oxford Castle in England

Today this place has become a tourist attraction. The prison was closed, and the premises of the castle are rented for cafes and stores. Here you can find tour guides who, for a modest fee, will take you through the former cells where the criminals were held. Traditionally, all the guides are former prisoners. They will tell you in detail how they had to wrestle every piece of bread from their fellow inmates.

Then you can go down to the basement rooms. Here you will be greeted by a local ghost – an actor dressed up as a ghost. At first he will scare someone, and then he will give a fun and entertaining tour. That’s the tradition here.

Carfax Tower

One of the most popular places in town. The tower’s name translates as “the tower of the crossroads. And indeed, it is located at the intersection of four roads. When you climb to the top of the building, tourists have a wonderful view of the whole of Oxford. The cost of a visit will be 2 pounds.

Carfax Tower in Oxford, England

The tower stands on the site of St. Martin’s Church, which was destroyed at the end of the 19th century. An interesting fact is that the original tower, because of the threat of collapse was demolished in 1820. And in its place built an exact replica.

The height of the tower is 23 meters. It is the tallest structure in the city.

Oxford University

Oxford University - a city landmark

Most people think of a university as one grand building (or several buildings) where students come to learn from their professors. The University of Oxford brings together many different colleges that are scattered throughout the city. This makes life much more difficult for students. After all, to get to one class, you have to go to the other end of town.

Oxford University, England

What is remarkable is that all of these colleges were built at different times. Most of them are ancient buildings that can be admired endlessly. And some built in the twentieth century and made in modern style.

The most popular educational institutions among tourists include:

  • Christ Church College is the oldest college in Oxford, founded in 1120;
  • Queens College is a college building built on the personal orders of King Edward III in the first half of the 12th century. You can only get into the structure with a guide;
  • Christchurch and Trinity Colleges. The premises of these educational institutions are designed in a medieval style. They are fenced off from the outside world by a high fence, behind which are majestic buildings with towers. Entrance to the territory is only possible after the purchase of tickets.

Weston Library

A modern library in the center of the city. It was built in 2015. This place has become popular with tourists because of the underground vaults, which stretch three stories underground.

Weston Library, a historical landmark in Oxford

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see it with your own eyes, as only university researchers are allowed access to the dungeon. But on the street you will meet many guides who will tell you in detail about this unusual place.

Bodleian Library

One of the oldest libraries in the world. Its pantries contain manuscripts that are 300-400 years old. The library originally consisted of a small collection of books that was a gift from one of the city’s founders, Duke William Coben. Today the book collection of this library is more than 11 million printed items. It is capable of serving up to 1.5 million readers annually.

Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK

In addition, the library’s facilities are in demand by film directors and producers. Thus, the shooting of the famous film about the young wizard Harry Potter took place here. A tour of the library halls will cost between £5 and £7.

Martyrs’ Memorial

This place was created by architect D. Scott in 1843. The author wanted to remind the people of England of the terrible days of the Inquisition, when dissenters whose views differed from the teachings of the church could end up at the stake or die in agony under the influence of some infernal device.

Martyrs' Memorial, Oxford, England

The occasion for the monument was the execution of Anglican ministers. The memorial resembles the spire of a church that has disappeared under water.

Ashmole Museum

Oxford - Ashmole Museum

The Ashmole Museum is a collection of everything you can find in the world. There are ancient Egyptian mummies, the treasures of the ancient Aztecs, paintings of famous artists of the Renaissance. It was built in the early 15th century and was one of the first university museums in the world. Initially, his collection was used exclusively for scientific purposes. Therefore, only Oxford University faculty and their students were allowed access to it. But later the antiquities began to be on public display.

Today it is the second largest museum in England.

Natural History Museum

A famous attraction in the city of Oxford is the Oxford Museum of Natural History

This place is not just a tourist attraction in Oxford. In addition to exhibit halls, there are lecture halls. They are used by students and faculty in various departments at Oxford University.

The Oxford Museum of Natural History is the most interesting place in town

The building is made in a very interesting style. The interior architecture is huge halls, with high glass ceilings.

The Natural History Museum has a huge collection of exhibits of animate and inanimate nature. Here you can see skeletons of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, stuffed animals of modern mammals and reptiles, many insects and plants.

Church of St. Mary the Virgin

An ancient structure on the grounds of Oxford. The exact date of construction of the church is unknown. Scientists suggest that it was erected at about the same time as the university itself.

St. Mary's Church in Oxford, England

St. Mary’s Church is considered the most popular church in all of England. It gained this fame among tourists because of the beautiful views from its observation decks.

Headington Shark

The Headington Shark in Oxford, England

A modern landmark, famous all over the world. Erected on the roof of the house, which is located at 2 New High Street. Local resident Bill Heine, an ardent opponent of the nuclear bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, built this monument on the anniversary of the tragedy. Thus he protested against the use of atomic weapons. Today this monument has become a gathering place for opponents of nuclear weapons from all over the world.

The Eagle and Child pub

The Eagle and Child pub is an iconic Oxford locationThe Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, England

The oldest entertainment venue in all of Oxford. The pub attracts tourists with its unusual history. In the early 20th century, members of the Inklings literary circle liked to gather at The Eagle and Child. The group consisted exclusively of students from Oxford University, and was founded by the famous writers John Ronald Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit or There and Back Again) and Clive Staples Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia).

Pitt Rivers Museum

Oxford, England - Pitt Rivers Museum

Like any other historic city, Oxford has its own ethnographic museum. Here, tourists will detail and show life and livelihood of ancient inhabitants. There are both visual and interactive exhibitions. Therefore, an excursion to this place will not be boring even for young children.

Oxford sights on a map

Video overview of sights in Oxford

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